Cryptocurrency is becoming more and more popular. This week, the value of Bitcoin reached an all-time high of approximately 53,000 euros. Mining or mining can also be a good source of income. But this has a disadvantage: it consumes a lot of power. In some places, this can cause power problems.
Miners check whether Bitcoin transactions are safe and there is no fraud. This mining process requires a large amount of computing power of the computer. But there are rewards: the miner who found the right solution first made 6.25 bitcoins. Currently, this is approximately 330,000 Euros.
In principle, anyone can mine. Depending on the digital currency, it can be done using your own computer or a computer containing a chip to achieve faster and more efficient calculations. Harald Vrancken, an associate professor at the Open University and Radboud University, said: “You can only successfully mine bitcoins if you have special equipment.” Compared to racing cars, your digging speed is like a snail.”
And those dedicated computers consume relatively large amounts of power. Most of the electricity consumed by mining goes to Bitcoin. Franken said: “It is difficult to say exactly where the mines are mined. This is a global phenomenon, but at the same time, it is a dark world. Not everyone likes it.”
What is mining and how much power is needed?
The miners go to places where electricity prices are cheap. For example, this is the case in places where there is a surplus of electricity in hydroelectric power plants during the rainy season, or where cheap coal is available and electricity is still generated in coal-fired power stations. For example, this still happens in China and Russia.
The computer keeps solving the sum and consumes power. Sometimes, local residents have no electricity. Therefore, some governments prohibit mining.
An example of such a place is Abkhazia, a region separate from Georgia. Cheap electricity has attracted the interest of miners in an area that has struggled with political and economic instability for many years. Although many people come from abroad (such as Russia), local residents are also actively mining.
However, the power grid in Abkhazia is difficult to cope with. The power is turned off periodically. He wrote that this caused dissatisfaction, partly because people did not have heating at the time. Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta.In order to solve the electricity problem, the government recently decided Prohibit mining. It has only been legal since September last year.
Of course, there are many things going on under the radar: cryptocurrency mining is not a regulated sector.
Mongolia has also imposed a ban in the autonomous region of China. More than 8% of bitcoins are mined here.However, it was announced last month that the area will expire in late April Shut down all mining activitiesTo reduce energy consumption.
The Chinese correspondent Sjoerd den Daas said: “There are more reports of repression, but this is the most serious one so far. “It remains to be seen how the ban will be implemented and how it will be implemented. carried out. There are many other things that are causing people’s attention: Crypto mining Not a regulated department. “
Den Daas doubted whether the ban would actually reduce mining and thus reduce energy consumption. “It’s too early to say anything. Whether in other parts of the country or not, some will undoubtedly stop and others will be able to continue business.”
By the way, Iran is another popular place in the region, and it also faces power problems.Said last January government This is due to the many miners in the country.They said they were there Irresponsible Be the first.
More and more mining
Now, the price of Bitcoin is rising so fast, which also has an impact on power consumption. Franken said: “There is a lot of money to make, and it will be very attractive to me.” “But it also means more calculations and more effort. And, the people who excavate The more you have, the faster you can solve math puzzles. That’s why the difficulty increases every two weeks.”
Vrancken worries about the long-term consequences of massive electricity consumption. “Currently, it consumes about 1% of global power consumption Crypto mining. If you look at the climate goals people are pursuing and reducing carbon dioxide emissions, then you must ask yourself whether it is appropriate to do so on a global scale. It is true that alternative mining methods are being developed that use much less power, but for many people, money still comes first.